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This report sets out the methodology for analysis of key sectors of the Australian economy during and as part of the COVID-19 recovery.

Access to broadband infrastructure has held up well during COVID-19 by OECD standards. This period coincided with 7.8 million customers now active on the National Broadband Network (NBN). High speed mobile networks have also coped well with the rise in data usage.

The last year has also created opportunities to improve productivity and increase the online participation of businesses. The task now is to support Australians as they take advantage of the opportunities of broadband and continue to adopt digital applications.

  • the move of businesses and consumers from offline to online

  • remote working and online collaboration tools

  • the shift from face to face to online learning

  • a shift to new service delivery models. In particular, the use of telehealth

Of particular interest to the ABAC will be:

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): The rise of e-commerce and the continuing interest in remote working, offers new opportunities for job creation and economic participation in our regions. ABAC will encourage new planning capabilities to track how SMEs in various regions and sectors make use of broadband and access information to improve digital capabilities.

Digital Inclusion: The economic disruption of COVID-19, coupled with the move to online, further exposes vulnerable groups who were already struggling to be engaged, especially low income groups. Our initial focus will be on access and affordability packages for remote learners, and the opportunities to use public infrastructure by increasing the capacity of wifi.

Digital skills: Digital skills are critical in supporting this shift in economic activity and maintaining the competitiveness of high adopters. Opportunities will exist for both reskilling and upskilling. ABAC will engage on the prioritisation of IT training and apprenticeships, improved digital connectivity standards, and the accessibility of blended TAFE programs throughout Australia.

Sectoral Deep dives: ABAC has considered the parallel work of the Digital Technology Taskforce in ensuring Australia will be a leading digital economy by 2030. This collaboration and whole-of-government approach will enhance the Government’s role as a digital exemplar and enabler to build business confidence to use online and cloud-based services by improving cyber and critical network security.

Editor's note

The contents of this document may not meet WCAG 2.0 requirements. If you require an accessible version, please email ABAC@communications.gov.au

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